Monday, 3 November 2008


I came across this painting about a year ago, though I have no remembrance of how I found it on the Internet. I'll have been doing a Google image search of something. Anyway, I just love it. It's Everett Shinn's 'Tightrope Walker', painted in 1924, currently at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. I know nothing about the painter, but this painting grabs me. Why? Because of the great composition, the white figure top-centre and the chandelier top-left, and the lit archway mid-right. I love the rough rendering of the audience and architecture of the theatre, and the strong verticals of the stage, the acrobats limbs and gaze, and the sense of space he's created. This figure really is teetering on a wire, high in the gallery of the theatre, with a great void below and around him. It's dramatic, an I'm spellbound.
So I thought I'd share it with you because I haven't any of my own works to post about at the moment.


Melanie Rimmer said...

I agree with the things you said you liked about it. It also reminds me of when you were very young and you were fascinated with images of Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine. Do you remember?

Yellow said...

Goodness Mel, that takes me back. I still have the porceline Pierrot doll who's face I re-painted at college. I think there were thousands of little girls in the 80's who were into that. I also remember a relative going to a fance dress party in a Pierrot costume. Do you remember who it was?

Gesa said...

Thanks for this - yes, I remember seeing it somewhere before. It's a fascinating composition. But it's also such a symbolic image with that dancer in white on the rope, balancing above an attentive, anticipating audience.

Triphus said...

i just went to the dayton art institute and saw this painting and loved it myself. made a vlog about the trip and everything. really kind of mysterious and haunting. good stuff.

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